Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 5-29-21

May 29, 2021

Greetings, Network faithful. The great Bob Dylan just celebrated his 80th birthday. Let’s honor this American icon with a rendition of one of his many classic songs, Knockin’ on Heavens Door by Afro Fiesta w/Twanguero & I-Taweh. Enjoy the tune and then get busy, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Health Equity Tracker to Study Health Inequities
On May 26th, the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (SHLI), with support from Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD),, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the CDC Foundation, announced the launch of the Health Equity Tracker, a comprehensive data platform that can highlight and address the impact of COVID-19 and other diseases on the Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities. The Health Equity Tracker is the premiere Health Equity-focused data visualization solution, capable of tracking multiple conditions and determinants that have impacted COVID-19 outcomes and exacerbated health inequities. Built as a forward-looking, scalable platform, the Health Equity Tracker can ingest multiple data sets ranging from social and political determinants of health, demographics, and other variables – resulting in a novel, comparative approach to assessing and conceptualizing health inequities.

Be a Better Parent – Interview with Dr. Bob Franks
In this episode of the Optimistic Advocate podcast, Dr. Bob Franks talks about his new book, Be a Better Parent – 10 Strategies for Being the Best You Can Be for Your Child. Dr. Franks shares some of his personal experience and family life, which inspired the writing of this powerful book. Such an uplifting conversation!

The Neurobiology of Compassionate Leadership
New article by Laurie Ellington, Zero Point Leadership
The success or failure of a leader is deeply rooted in human nature, as the capacity to unite the human spirit in favor of transformation and consciousness evolution is a collective endeavor. This discussion shares some of the challenges leaders face in the 21st-century workplace, along with insights from contemporary neuroscience and mind-body science that support compassion as a potential solution to navigating these issues and upgrading the current leadership paradigm. A recommendation to incorporate loving kindness meditation (LKM) into leadership development programs is discussed. Learn more about the innovative work Laurie Ellington is doing by visiting the Zero Point Leadership website.

Mental Health and Substance Use Considerations Among Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Poor mental health outcomes and access to care issues among children and adolescents are likely to persist beyond the pandemic. The pandemic may also increase the risk of children having adverse childhood experiences, such as experiencing violence or being exposed to adult substance misuse, which can lead to long-term mental health and substance use issues. This brief highlights the need for policymakers, providers, educators, parents, and researchers to consider the ways the COVID-19 pandemic may impact children’s mental health for the long term.

Conversations on Race: Do You See Color?
In this episode of the Optimistic Advocate podcast, Julie Radlauer-Doerfler and Ryon Coote have a conversation on the concept of “I don’t see color.” This is the third in the three-part series – Conversations on Race. We look forward to hearing more from these two progressive advocates as they launch their podcast to continue the conversation. Stay tuned for details!

The Evolution of the System of Care Approach
The system of care (SOC) approach was first introduced in the mid-1980s to address well-documented problems in mental health systems for children and youth with serious emotional disturbances (SEDs) and their families. These efforts have resulted in significant strides across the United States in addressing youth mental health issues. However, notwithstanding this progress, there is a continuing need to improve SOCs based on environmental changes, changes in health and human service delivery, experience, and data from evaluations and research. As such, an update of the approach was published in 2010. This current document builds on the 2010 update, describes the evolution of the SOC approach, and presents further updates in the philosophy, infrastructure, services, and supports that comprise the SOC framework.

Training Institutes Live!
Next set of workshops scheduled for June 3rd, from 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Register soon. It’s free!
The School of Social Work at the University of Maryland is continuing the tradition of the Training Institutes with Training Institutes Live! The newly formatted training institutes offers a monthly series of virtual 90-minute workshops focused on integrating systems and improving outcomes for children, youth, young adults, and their families. Workshops emphasize practical strategies that you can apply in your states, communities, tribes, and territories. Join us to discuss and share the latest policies, practices, resources, and research. Connect with experts and leaders from child-serving systems across the nation.

New Analysis Examines How Racism Drives Disparities in Maternal and Child Health
The State of Babies Yearbook aims to bridge the gap between science and policy with national and state-by-state data on the well-being of America’s babies. The data are clear: The state in which a baby is born makes a big difference in their chance for a strong start in life. However, location is only one factor to consider in ensuring that our youngest children have a healthy start. Another critical factor is the influence of race, ethnicity, and racism on the quality of care that parents and babies receive.

Evidence for Action: Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health
RWJF’s Evidence for Action: Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health call for proposals is open on a rolling basis. The program funds research that expands the evidence needed to build a Culture of Health, which is broadly defined as one in which good health and well-being flourish across geographic, demographic, and social sectors; public and private decision making is guided by the goal of fostering equitable communities; and everyone has the opportunity to make choices that lead to healthy lifestyles. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis.

Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans
CDC released a grant opportunity late last week: DP21-2111 – Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans. The grant will fund approximately 20 state, local, tribal or territorial jurisdictions to develop an implementation-ready social determinants of health (SDOH) accelerator plan. No more than three state and local applicants per HHS region will receive awards to ensure geographic diversity. Awards will be up to $125,000 with a budget period of 12 months. The deadline to apply is July 5th.

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

Hello, I’m Scott Bryant-Comstock, CEO and founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network. For the past 40 years, my journey as a mental health advocate has traveled from volunteering at a suicide and crisis center, professional roles as a therapist in an outpatient clinic, in-home family therapist, state mental health official, Board Chair for a county mental health program, and national reviewer of children’s mental health systems reform efforts. As the founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network (2009), I lead the Network’s efforts to grow a national online forum to exchange ideas on how to improve children’s mental health research, policy, and practice.

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